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the meter is running

1. Your fare is increasing with time. Said especially in regards to taxis. I don't care if you want to wait for your friend, but the meter is running pal.
2. By extensions, costs will continue to increase or accumulate as time goes on. Try to avoid calling the lawyer's office if you can—the meter is running as soon as they answer the phone, so every call you make can be expensive.
See also: meter, running
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

meter is running, the

Costs or other consequences are accumulating, as in We'd better come to a decision soon, for the meter is running. This metaphoric expression alludes to the fare mounting up on a taxi meter. [Late 1900s]
See also: meter
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Materials are metered by weight, and accuracy is constantly monitored and verified.
If your building is not yet metered, it is probably in New York City, and may have even more potential for magical savings.
While New York City's Department of Environmental Protection insists that the water metering program will be revenue neutral and designed to produce no net gain in income other than what would normally be required to fund the water system, Rothschild noted that metered charges will shift the burden of payments toward properties least able to afford it.
The BRAB officer noted that of the 120,000 multi-family buildings in the city, 7,000 were metered as of July, while 167,000 one- and two-family homes had been metered.
Modular gravimetric blending system automatically weights as it loads itself with one or more pellet or powder materials and weighs minor ingredients as they are metered into a scale hopper.
But as more apartment buildings are metered for water usage, the destructive impact of the rent laws will be replaced by the destructive impact of paying for water.
Batching of materials systems and inline feeding of metered dry fillers available on foam and elastomer systems.
For volumetric blending, AutoColor Plus machine-mounted, self-loading batch metering and blending unit mixes fixed quantities of virgin and regrind with up to two metered amounts of colorants or additives.
Autocolor Plus machine-mounted, self-loading volumetric batch metering and blending unit mixes fixed quantities of virgin material and regrind with up to two metered amounts of colorants or additives.
Patented valving system handles from 2 to 20 metered streams.